Rewrite, Rewrite, Rewrite

Comments: 2

The other day, a fellow writer asked to see my first novel, you know, the one I began writing nearly 25 years ago, and after having gone through several critique groups, I thought it was as good as it could get??? Well, this writer wrote me a note, suggesting I read it aloud. Well, actually, I have never done that, at least not all the way through, but despite everyone saying how beneficial that usually is, I didn't think it would help. After all, my novel has been through the critique mill. It's gotta be near perfect. At least I thought so until I took up the challenge. Today, I read the first two chapters aloud, from a printout, not on the computer screen.

GASP! and GADS! What a horrible mess!!! I never dreamed it was so bad. I found typo after typo, extraneous words, noun-verb disagreements, and dialog that sounded stilted.

Now, I'm totally embarrassed that I actually sent it out to a couple of agents. They must think I'm something to think it was good enough for their consideration.

What now? Give up? NEVER!!!

Just let this be a lesson to me, and to all of you, my faithful readers (all 1 or 2 of you). Never think your writing is good enough. Read it aloud from a printout, not on screen. You'll be surprised as the goofs and gaffs you will find.

I certainly am.
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About Paul West

Paul West is a freelance writer and novelist. Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Paul claims to be a "Prune Picker," though he now makes his home in Taylorsville, Utah.

You can follower him on Twitter: @PaulWWest

Published: Tuesday, September 14, 2010

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  1. Excellent suggestion, and like you, I have always been a bit reluctant to do that. But I DO know what a world of difference it makes when you hear, not read, your own words.

    Do stop over at my blog sometime if you feel like it. It's back in action. :)

  2. Your site is beautiful as always. I love visiting your blog, even if I don't always comment.